Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. President.

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Jacob Potofsky, garment worker, labor organizer and leader, Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.

Jacob Potofsky was born in Radomisl, Ukraine, in 1894. He emigrated to the United States in 1905 and began working in a Chicago men's clothing factory in 1908. He became active in labor matters and took part in the 1910 strike against Hart, Schaffner and Marx that led to the organization of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). He served as an official in ACWA Local 144 and on the Chicago Joint Board before moving to New York to work as assistant general secretary-treasurer for the national union.

Potofsky held a number of positions within the ACWA, including assistant president and general secretary-treasurer. He became the union's president in 1946 after the death of Sidney Hillman, and served in that position until his retirement in 1972. During much of his tenure, the union experienced growth, particularly during the 1950s. Organizing in the South, which had begun before World War II, continued to provide the ACWA with new members, and the first local in Puerto Rico received its charter in 1959. Retail clerks and laundry workers began to affiliate with the ACWA, and pay and benefits steadily increased. But the union's size and strength had begun to wane significantly by the time of Potofsky's retirement, as more garment manufacturers moved their operations overseas.

From the description of Jacob Potofsky presidential correspondence, 1946-1974, 1960-1970 (bulk). (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63892429

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Badillo, Herman, 1929- person
associatedWith Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Goldberg, Arthur J. person
associatedWith Harriman, W. Averell 1891-1986. person
associatedWith Hart, Schaffner & Marx. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey, Hubert H. 1911-1978. person
associatedWith International Labour Organisation. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Textile and Garment Workers' Federation. corporateBody
associatedWith Jewish Labor Committee (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007. person
associatedWith Johnson, Lyndon B. 1908-1973. person
associatedWith Kefauver, Estes, 1903-1963. person
associatedWith Kennedy, John F. 1917-1963. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968. person
associatedWith Lehman, Herbert H. 1878-1963. person
associatedWith Lindsay, John V. person
associatedWith McGovern, George S. 1922- person
associatedWith Meany, George, 1894- person
associatedWith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. corporateBody
associatedWith Nehru, Jawaharlal, 1889-1964. person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. 1913- person
associatedWith Pepper, Claude, 1900- person
associatedWith Potofsky, Jacob S. 1894-1979. person
associatedWith Reuther, Victor G. 1912-2004. person
associatedWith Reuther, Walter, 1907-1970. person
associatedWith Rockefeller, Nelson A. 1908-1979. person
associatedWith Stevenson, Adlai E. 1900-1965. person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Van Arsdale, Harry, 1905-1986. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Clothing workers--Labor unions
Labor unions--Political activity

Corporate Body

Active 1946

Active 1974

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Ark ID: w6gj3x91

SNAC ID: 286178